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Trump administration petitions US Supreme Court to approve latest travel ban

US President Donald Trump said restoring North Korea to the list of state sponsors of terror "should have happened a long time ago"
The U.S. Supreme Court could bring the travel ban into effect immediately

The administration of US President Donald Trump on Monday petitioned the country's Supreme Court to allow the latest travel ban to take full effect.

The request comes after the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that the ban is only partially acceptable. The decision from the three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based federal appeals court enables the administration to ban people from six mostly Muslim countries unless they have a “bona fide” relationship with someone in the United States.

Last month, Trump’s third travel ban was essentially blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii right before it was due to take effect. A judge in Maryland also blocked the ban to a lesser degree, though, establishing that Trump could bar people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as long as they have no connections in the US.

Connections are defined as family relationships and “formal, documented” relationships with US-based entities such as universities and resettlement agencies. Family relationships include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins in the United States.

Jason Redmond (AFP)

The travel ban also applies to travelers from North Korea and to some Venezuelan government officials and their families, but the lawsuits did not challenge those restrictions.

The previous two travel bans, which started back in January when Trump first took office, were blocked by federal courts.

- New ban not based on religious animus -

The US Justice Department’s current appeal to the highest court of the land requests that it put the Hawaii judge’s ruling on hold, since it argues that the new travel ban is different “both in process and in substance” and that it “is based on national-security and foreign-affairs objectives, not religious animus.”

The government’s application argues that preventing the president from enforcing “his national-security and foreign-relations judgment will cause ongoing irreparable harm to the government and the public, especially by requiring the executive to disregard the identified inadequacies and by undermining the proclamation’s goal of inducing cooperation by other nations,”

If the Supreme Court grants the government’s request to stay the Hawaii judge’s ruling, then the ban would be in effect while the appeal makes its way through the courts.

Jonathan STOREY (AFP)

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said Monday, “We look forward to the Supreme Court’s review of this matter, and to the oral argument before the court of appeals in two weeks.”

Arguments are scheduled for Dec. 6 at the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle. The Maryland case is due to be argued before the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec. 8.

In a separate 9th Circuit ruling Monday, a request by six states --California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Washington --to intervene in the Hawaii lawsuit was denied, despite their agreeing with Hawaii that the ban is unconstitutional.

(Staff with agencies)


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